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Astronomie - Supermassive black holes shortly after the Big Bang: how to seed them

25.03.2020

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They are billions of times larger than our Sun: how is it possible that, as recently observed, supermassive black holes were already present when the Universe, now 14 billion years old, was “just” 800 million years old? For astrophysicists, the formation of these cosmic monsters in such a short time is a real scientific headache, which raises important questions on the current knowledge of the development of these celestial bodies. A recent article published in The Astrophysical Journal, by the SISSA Ph.D. student Lumen Boco and his supervisor Andrea Lapi, offers a possible explanation to the thorny issue. Thanks to an original model theorized by the scientists from Trieste, the study proposes a very fast formation process in the initial phases of the development of the supermassive black holes, those up to now considered slower. Proving, mathematically, that their existence was possible in the young Universe, the results of the research reconcile the timing required for their growth with the limits imposed by the age of the Cosmos. The validity of the theory can be fully validated thanks to future gravitational wave detectors namely Einstein Telescope and LISA, but tested in several basic aspects also with the current Advanced LIGO/Virgo system. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Quelle: Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati - via Bonomea, 265 - 34136 Trieste ITALY

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